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Saturday, 23 March, 2002, 17:27 GMT
Bradford 2-0 Crewe
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David Wetherall and Stuart McCall scored the goals that almost certainly assured Bradford of First Division football next season.

But Crewe's relegation fears increased as they rarely looked like taking anything from their fourth game without a win.

Wetherall scored after 12 minutes to give Nicky Law's side the lead, with McCall's deflected drive after 87 minutes clinching the points.

Bradford almost got off to the perfect start when Scottish midfielder Eoin Jess fired a right-foot shot against the woodwork after just two minutes.

Struggled

Bantams striker Ashley Ward, constantly linked with a move away from the club, had a goal disallowed shortly after for handball as Dario Gradi's side came under immense pressure.

Crewe finally buckled after 12 minutes when Wayne Jacobs drilled in a low cross from the left following Jess' free-kick and Wetherall prodded the ball home from close range.

Crewe striker Rob Hulse was booked a minute later for a foul on the goalscorer and Jess, a constant menace in the early stages, lashed another shot just wide as the home side continued to dominate.

Gunnar Halle was next to try his luck but his shot from the edge of the box was deflected wide by David Wright as Crewe struggled to get out of their own half.

Bradford's Mark Bower was then booked for a foul on Rodney Jack before former Everton striker Danny Cadamarteri had a right foot shot saved by Ince after 25 minutes.

Crewe, just three points clear of the relegation places at the start of play, finally created a chance on the half hour but Hulse's header was parried to safety by Bantams goalkeeper Alan Combe.

Ben Rix then had a shot from the left side of the area blocked by Halle as the Railwaymen finally began to make an impact - but Ince had to be alert to parry Claus Jorgensen's effort at the other end as the interval approached.

Made sure

McCall and Cadamarteri both threatened to add a second as Crewe continued to look shaky at the back before Hulse and Jack both drilled shots over the crossbar early in the second half.

Crewe then had skipper Shaun Smith booked for a foul on Jorgensen before Wetherall came within a whisker of adding another but directed his header just wide following Halle's cross.

Ince made a magnificent save to deny the impressive Cadamarteri again and the Trinidad & Tobago stopper then made another good stop to deny Ward.

But Crewe almost snatched an equaliser with nine minutes left when Combe dived at full length to tip Jack's rasping shot around the post.

McCall then made sure of the points when his shot from 20 yards took a slight deflection to defeat Ince.


Bradford: Combe, Halle, Wetherall, Bower, Jacobs, Jorgensen, Lawrence, McCall, Jess, Cadamarteri, Ward. Subs: Juanjo, Grant, Whalley, Emanuel, Worsnop.

Crewe: Ince, Wright, Sodje, Foster, Smith, Rix, Charnock, Sorvel, Lunt, Hulse, Jack. Subs: Bankole, Macauley, Ashton, Street, Collins.

Referee: R Pearson (Peterlee).

Links to more Eng Div 1 stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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